It's a classic November Pac-12 Saturday, with everyone in action, and all of it on Saturday! Bowl eligibility, division championships, bowl positioning, and possibly some jobs, are all on the line.
#5 (#5 in the BCS) Oregon (9-1, 6-1) at Arizona (6-4, 3-4) at 1:30 PM MST (12:30 PST) starts the day off. It's a split national game, with ABC carrying the game in the west, and ESPN2 elsewhere, the midwest and east (where Indiana at Ohio St. gets the ABC slot).
The Ducks bounced back from their disappointment against Stanford to pull away from Utah for a 44-21 win. The Utes had pulled within 17-14 early in the second half, but De'Anthony Thomas answered with an 86 yard kickoff return for the touchdown that started a run of 27 consecutive points in 15 minutes.
Marcus Mariota's MCL injury continues to render him unable to run effectively, but he still threw 3 touchdown passes, and Byron Marshall ran for another pair to put the game away.
And with USC's last second comeback win over the Cardinal, Oregon is again in the drivers seat to the Pac-12 North and the Rose Bowl.
The 'Cats "Couged It" against the Cougars, missing a 4th quarter field goal and then failing to score on a final drive into the Washington St. red zone, losing 24-17 at home as a result.
Arizona only mustered a field goal in the second half, failing to capitalize on a pretty good day by B.J. Denker, and a typical strong outing by Ka'Deem Carey. Denker completed 26 of 38 passes, for 200 yards and a touchdown, and ran for 64 more, and Carey covered 132 yards on his 26 runs, including a 30 yard scoring run shortly before halftime, and added another 45 yards, plus another score, on 6 catches.
The Utes were without Travis Wilson, and will be for the rest of the season at least, after Wilson was discovered to have a pre-existing injury to an intracranial artery while being evaluated for a concussion suffered against Arizona St.
Sophomore Adam Schultz completed 13 of 30 passes, for 181 yards, in his first collegiate start, and ran for the touchdown 5 minutes into the 3rd quarter that had the Utes within 3 points.
Utah must win in Pullman with Schultz at the controls, and again against Colorado to become bowl eligible.
The Cougars pulled within 1 win of bowl eligibility with their win in Tucson, as Connor Halliday completed 39 of 53 passes, for 319 yards and 2 touchdowns, including the game winner to Isiah Myers with only 2:15 left in the game.
The Bears hung with Colorado until midway in the second quarter, but ultimately confirmed themselves to be the worst team in the west, never mind the conference. After California's Khalfani Muhammad had tied the game at 10 points apiece with a 55 yard touchdown run, the Bear defense surrendered 24 consecutive points, and the Buffs stampeded to a 41-24 win.
California again ends their season a week earlier than the rest of the conference, and again, like last year, it can't come too soon. It's hard to imagine this game not resembling the end to the Bears' season last year, a 62-14 road loss in Corvallis. California enters the game 32+ point underdogs, the largest known spread ever in the Bay Area rivalry.
The Cardinal went from being in control of the Pac-12 North, with a clear path to the Conference Championship game and a BCS bowl, to having little to play for, already having the tie-breakers against their immediate competition in their division and overall in the conference, when USC's Andre Heidari hit the 47 yard field goal for the 20-17 Trojan win with 19 seconds left.
Tyler Gaffney ran for 158 yards and 2 touchdowns on 24 carries, and the Cardinal defense allowed the Trojans only 23 yards on 27 rushes. But Kevin Hogan completed only 14 of 25 passes, and threw a pair of interceptions.
The Sun Devils can clinch the Pac-12 South with a win, after pulling away from Oregon St. for a 30-17 win Saturday night.
Marion Grice did most of the offensive damage for Arizona St., carrying 24 times for 118 yards and 2 touchdowns, but it was the Sun Devil defense that won the game, grabbing 4 interceptions off Oregon St. quarterback Sean Mannion, including a pick 6 by Robert Nelson, his second interception of the game, with just over 5 minutes left to ice the game.
Nelson was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week as a result.
A fumble recovery on special teams that set up a 15 yard scoring drive helped as well.
The Bruins need a win this week and next to return to the Pac-12 Title game for the third year in a row, after pulling away from Washington for a 41-31 win Friday night.
Myles Jack had another big night of pulling double duty, supplementing his defensive efforts with 13 carries, for 59 yards, and more importantly, 4 touchdowns.
Paul Perkins added another 86 yards on 21 carries, as UCLA ran over the Husky defense for 222 yards.
Brett Hundley only managed to throw for 159 yards, but added 2 touchdown tosses, and with no interceptions, important in a game that had a half dozen turnovers.
The Trojans' 4th down conversion that led to the game winning field goal was the play call of the game, as well as the play of the game, and the upset of the Cardinal has interim coach Ed Orgeron possibly a win over UCLA from becoming the permanent coach.
Cody Kessler completed 25 of 37 passes, for 288 yards and a touchdown, and was named Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week, and Heidari's field goal, his second of the game, earned him the Pac-12 Special Teams Player of the Week honor.
The Buffs's freshman quarterback Sefu Liufau continued to progress, completing 23 of 36 passes, for a career high 364 yards and 3 touchdowns, 11 of them to Paul Richardson, which tied the Buffs' single game record, for 140 yards. 8 more went to Nelson Spruce, for another 140 yards.
There is snow in Boulder, and tonight will be the first time USC has played in the snow since 1957. That puts a variable into what would normally be a mismatch that the Trojans have no experience with.
The day and the evening come to an end (as usual) when Washington (6-4, 3-4) visits Oregon St. (6-4, 3-4) at 7:30 PM and ESPN2 will be on hand. Both teams come in having lost road games at the top Pac-12 South division teams as a result of a rash of turnovers. Both teams have seen strong starts to their seasons derailed by 3 game losing streaks. All the losses have been to ranked opponents, but it still led to this game being the "Frustration Bowl".
The Huskies lost quarterback Keith Price to a shoulder injury at the end of the first half against UCLA. Cyler Miles took over, and threw a pair of second half touchdowns, but also a pair of interceptions. Price's status remains a question mark, and probably will remain so into Saturday night.
Washington did have a career breakout night from Damore'ea Stringfellow, for a game high 8 catches, and a game high 147 yards, and a touchdown.
Bishop Sankey ran for 91 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries, and added 33 more yards on 4 catches, but also had a fumble, as the Huskies coughed up the ball on the 3rd play of their first 2 series. Both led to UCLA touchdowns, and a 14-0 lead 5 1/2 minutes into the game that Washington never overcame.
The Beavers lost their 3rd straight, as Mannion has now thrown 7 of his 10 interceptions in the season in the last 2 games.
The Oregon St. defense also limited Arizona St.'s Taylor Kelly to 183 yards, and picked him off twice. But the 5 turnovers were too much to overcome.
Here's the complete, national weekend schedule, with times adjusted for east coast convenience:
|TIME||ROAD TEAM||HOME TEAM||NETWORK|
|11 a.m. ET||Liberty, 7-4||Charleston Southern, 9-2|
|Noon ET||No. 20 Oklahoma, 8-2||Kansas State, 6-4|
|Noon ET||No. 13 Michigan State, 9-1||Northwestern, 4-6|
|Noon ET||The Citadel, 5-6||No. 7 Clemson, 9-1|
|Noon ET||Cincinnati, 8-2||Houston, 7-3|
|Noon ET||Duke, 8-2||Wake Forest, 4-6|
|Noon ET||Harvard, 8-1||Yale, 5-4|
|Noon ET||Illinois, 3-7||Purdue, 1-9|
|Noon ET||Maine, 10-1||New Hampshire, 6-4|
|Noon ET||Memphis, 3-6||No. 21 Louisville, 9-1|
|Noon ET||Michigan, 7-3||Iowa, 6-4|
|Noon ET||Old Dominion, 8-3||North Carolina, 5-5|
|Noon ET||Virginia, 2-8||Miami, 7-3|
|12:21 ET||Mississippi State, 4-6||Arkansas, 3-7|
|12:30 ET||East Carolina, 8-2||NC State, 3-7|
|12:30 ET||Pittsburgh, 5-5||Syracuse, 5-5|
|12:30 ET||Lafayette, 4-6||Lehigh, 8-2||MASN2|
|1 ET||Coastal Carolina, 10-1||No. 11 South Carolina, 8-2||PPV|
|1 ET||UMass, 1-9||Central Michigan, 4-6|
|1 ET||Bowling Green, 7-3||Eastern Michigan, 2-8|
|1:30 ET||Alabama A&M, 4-7||Georgia Tech, 6-4|
|1:30 ET||Brown, 5-4||Columbia, 0-9|
|2 ET||Chattanooga, 8-3||No. 1 Alabama, 10-0||PPV|
|2 ET||Georgia Southern, 6-4||Florida, 4-6||PPV|
|2 ET||Florida A&M, 3-8||Bethune-Cookman, 9-2|
|2 ET||Eastern Illinois, 10-1||UT-Martin, 7-4|
|2:05 ET||Hawaii, 0-10||Wyoming, 4-6||Oceanic PPV|
|2:05 ET||Montana, 9-2||Montana State, 7-4|
|3 ET||Georgia State, 0-10||Arkansas State, 6-4|
|3 ET||New Mexico State, 1-9||FAU, 4-6||FAUSports.com|
|3:30 ET||No. 5 Oregon, 9-1||Arizona, 6-4|
|3:30 ET||Idaho, 1-9||No. 2 Florida State, 10-0|
|3:30 ET||No. 12 Texas A&M, 8-2||No. 22 LSU, 7-3|
|3:30 ET||No. 19 Wisconsin, 8-2||No. 25 Minnesota, 8-2|
|3:30 ET||Indiana, 4-6||No. 3 Ohio State, 10-0|
|3:30 ET||Boston College, 6-4||Maryland, 6-4|
|3:30 ET||BYU, 7-3||Notre Dame, 7-3|
|3:30 ET||Colorado State, 6-5||Utah State, 6-4|
|3:30 ET||Middle Tennessee, 6-4||Southern Miss, 0-10|
|3:30 ET||Nebraska, 7-3||Penn State, 6-4|
|3:30 ET||Utah, 4-6||Washington State, 5-5|
|3:30 ET||UTEP, 2-8||Tulane, 6-4||CST|
|3:30 ET||UTSA, 5-5||North Texas, 7-3|
|3:30 ET||South Dakota, 4-7||North Dakota State, 10-0|
|3:30 ET||James Madison, 6-5||Towson, 9-2|
|4 ET||New Mexico, 3-7||No. 15 Fresno State, 9-0|
|4 ET||California, 1-10||No. 9 Stanford, 8-2|
|4 ET||Sam Houston State, 8-3||Central Arkansas, 6-5|
|4 ET||Southeast Missouri State, 3-8||Jacksonville State, 8-3||TV24|
|5:45 ET||Portland State, 6-5||Eastern Washington, 9-2|
|6 ET||Marshall, 7-3||FIU, 1-9|
|6:30 ET||UC Davis, 4-7||Sacramento State, 5-6|
|7 ET||No. 17 Arizona State, 8-2||No. 14 UCLA, 8-2|
|7 ET||Kentucky, 2-8||Georgia, 6-4|
|7 ET||SMU, 4-5||USF, 2-7|
|7 ET||Tulsa, 2-8||Louisiana Tech, 4-6|
|7 ET||UConn, 0-9||Temple, 1-9|
|7 ET||ULM, 5-5||South Alabama, 3-6|
|7 ET||Vanderbilt, 6-4||Tennessee, 4-6|
|7 ET||WKU, 6-4||Texas State, 6-4|
|7 ET||McNeese State, 9-2||Lamar, 5-6|
|7:45 ET||No. 8 Missouri, 9-1||No. 24 Ole Miss, 7-3|
|8 ET||Kansas, 3-7||Iowa State, 1-9|
|8 ET||No. 4 Baylor, 9-0||No. 10 Oklahoma State, 9-1|
|9:30 ET||No. 23 USC, 8-3||Colorado, 4-6|
|10:30 ET||Washington, 6-4||Oregon State, 6-4|
|10:30 ET||Boise State, 7-3||San Diego State, 6-4|